2014 №1 (16)

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Tatyana A. Gridina
Ural State Pedagogical University
Ekaterinburg, Russia

An “Elbum” for Elya: Given Names in the Linguistic Mind of a Child

Voprosy onomastiki (Problems of Onomastics), 2014, Issue 1 (16), pp. 84–95 (in Russian)

Received 27 June 2013

Abstract: The article examines the trends of exploration by a child of their own given name seen as an important factor of the development of linguistic capacity in ontogenesis. The author analyzes the perception of the personal name (both in its full and short forms) as determined by the mental dominants of preschoolers’ and school-age children’s linguistic mind and reveals the specificity of the nominative function of the name, its communicative and linguo-cultural features in children’s speech. The author points out the incapacity of a child, at early stages of development, to detach a given name from its concrete bearer, the use of a name as a deictic means of auto-identification, the inseparability of a name from the original scene of communication, the individual character of the emotional and evaluative components of its meaning as well as the tendency to adjust the name to a particular situation and to use the name as a motivated sign. The author focuses on the mechanisms of phonetic identification which contribute to the formation of individual phonosemantic features of the name and the false etymological convergences which clarify the internal form of anthroponyms, including the convergences that have a deliberate characterizing function and manifest children’s liking for onomastic play. The article establishes stable correlations between that kind of transformations of a name and the traditions of children’s folklore. In the linguistic mind of a child any proper name acquires a specific psychological substance and specific functions on each stage of ontogenesis, the transition zone between proper and appellative names being flexible and filling anthroponyms with concrete connotative meanings. The name helps children to become aware of their own uniqueness and to realize the sense of interpersonal relations reflected in names motivations.

Key words: Russian language, anthroponymy, children’s speech, onomastic play, associative context of a proper name, mental dominants of childrens’ linguistic mind, techniques of naming, creation of names


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